How To Make Compound Butter

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Compound butter is one of my secret weapons in the kitchen. You can use it to add mega flavor to steak, turkey, chicken, and even roasted vegetables or bread.

If you’ve never used this tasty herb-infused butter, you’re in for a real treat. This easy compound butter recipe takes minutes to make. And there are endless varieties to try.

compound butter made with garlic and herbs

I like to make these compound butter recipes when the herbs in my herb garden have a bounty. Having these flavor bombs in the freezer is a great way to preserve fresh herbs so that you can add flavor to recipes like mashed potatoes all year.

Frozen butter keeps in the freezer for a long time so that you can pop one of these nuggets out anytime you need a quick way to add flavor to almost any dish.

What You’ll Need

You’ll need unsalted butter and a variety of aromatics and fresh herbs. You’ll need a little acid and some salt and pepper to finish it.

ingredients for compound butter
  • Unsalted butter.
  • Aromatics. Shallots or garlic.
  • Fresh herbs.
  • Acid. Lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Citrus zest. Citrus zest is optional.
  • Salt and pepper.

How To Make Compound Butter

This easy process involves whipping room temperature unsalted butter together with herbs. You can do this in a food processor, with a hand mixer, or with a good old-fashioned wooden spoon or spatula.

Food Processor

The food processor makes easy work of this compound butter recipe.

  1. Toss all of the ingredients into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until the mixture is well combined and the herbs are evenly distributed into the softened butter.
  2. Drop the butter mixture onto parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll it into a log. Twist the ends and chill until ready to use the compound butter for steaks.

Making Compound Butter By Hand

If you don’t have a food processor or don’t want another pulling it out of the cabinet, you can make compound butter by hand.

  1. Mince the herbs and the fresh garlic. You want to make sure they are very finely chopped.
  2. Combine the herbs, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and softened butter in a large bowl and mix everything.
  3. Toss all of the ingredients into the bowl of your food processor. pulse until the mixture is well combined and the herbs are evenly distributed into the softened butter.
  4. Drop the butter mixture onto parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll into a log. Twist the ends and chill until ready to use the compound butter for steaks. [note 1]

How To Roll Compound Butter

You can chill compound butter in the form of a log and then slice it when ready to use it.

  1. Use parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap.
  2. Add the mixed butter to the paper and roll into a log.
garlic herb butter wrapped in parchment paper, ready to chill

How to Freeze Compound Butter

Instead of rolling the butter into logs, I like to freeze butter in my Souper Cubes cookie trays. After the butter is frozen, you simply pop it out and store it in a zip-top bag or another airtight container in the freezer.

using butter molds to chill compound butter

How To Use Compound Butter

The possibilities are endless. You’ll be able to add so much flavor to recipes in a jiffy.

  • Meat: Steak, roasted chicken, and turkey. Herb butter adds flavor to poultry during roasting, or you can use it pan finish a steak or even serve it on top of grilled steak.
  • Seafood: Salmon, broiled fish, shrimp, or scallops. Add flavor effortlessly to pan-seared or broiled fish. You can also use it for sauteeing shrimp or pan-searing scallops.
  • Veggies: Roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and corn on the cob.
  • Bread: Slather on your favorite baked bread or use it to baste the top of dinner rolls.
steak grilled and sliced. Served with compound butter

Recipe Variations

There are so many flavor combinations to try. I’m obsessed with adding flavor to recipes. Especially when it’s as easy as this.

To make any of the varieties, use about three tablespoons of herbs for every half cup of butter. Remember to add a little lemon juice, plus some salt and pepper, no matter which variety you are making.

Herb Compound Butter

Adding flavor to butter with fresh herbs is what classic compound butter is. Here are a few flavor combinations to try.

  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Tarragon
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Sage

Anchovy Butter

Anchovy butter is a savory treat when served with pasta or steak. This umami-packed butter is also delicious on roasted veggies.

  • 2 to 6 anchovy filets

Mushroom Butter

Mushroom butter adds great flavor to steaks, pork chops, and roasted veggies.

  • Dried mushrooms, ground in a spice grinder.
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Fresh thyme

Truffle Butter

Truffle butter is delicious with steaks, risotto, pasta, and potatoes.

  • Shaved black truffles
  • Salt & pepper

Chipotle Butter

Chipotle butter adds flavor to corn on the cob, cornbread or focaccia, and roasted potatoes.

  • 1 or 2 chipotle peppers, canned
  • Lime zest and juice
  • Black pepper

Blue Cheese Butter

You will love blue cheese butter for your next steak. It adds so much flavor and couldn’t be easy to make.

  • Blue cheese, crumbled

Buerre au Citron (Lemon Butter)

Technically, buerre au citron is a butter sauce with aromatics, wine, butter, and citrus juice. But you can make this easy version of compound lemon butter to use on fish or scallops. You can also replace the citrus in this recipe with lime or orange.

  • Shallots
  • Lemon juice + lemon zest

Honey Butter

Honey butter is delicious on freshly baked bread or homemade cornbread.

  • Honey. Add a few tablespoons of honey to softened butter and whip.

Fruit Butter

Fruit butter is a delicious condiment you can use to toast or bagels. It’s sort of a spin on classic honey butter. Essentially making fruit butter stars with homemade honey butter.

  • Fruit. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries. Add about a quarter cup of fresh berries.
  • Honey. Add a few tablespoons of honey.

FAQ

How long does compound butter keep?

Compound Butter will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks in an airtight container.

You can freeze butter for 6 months or longer. Pre-slice the butter logs and freeze the butter discs on a cookie sheet. Or use Souper Cubes cookie molds to freeze butter into rounds.

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herbed butter recipe sliced into disks

Compound Butter Recipe

You can make compound butter with so many flavor combinations. All you need is room temperature butter, garlic, lemon, and your favorite fresh herbs.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine French
Servings 8
Calories 104 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

Garlic and Herb Butter

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, 1 stick
  • 1 tablespoon garlic or shallots, pressed or minced.
  • 3 tablespoons fresh herbs minced, tarragon, parsley, chives, dill, rosemary, thyme, basil, or an combination of your favorite
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Anchovy Butter

  • 2 to 6 anchovy filets

Mushroom Butter

Truffle Butter

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons black truffle, grated

Chipotle Butter

  • 1 to 2 chipotle peppers, canned
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest

Blue Cheese Butter

  • ¼ cup blue cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely minced

Honey Butter

Fruit Butter

  • ¼ cup fresh berries, or thawed frozen berries
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions
 

  • Soften the butter to room temperature.
  • Add the butter and the seasoning ingredients to the bowl of your food processer.
  • Pulse until the butter is smooth and all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  • Prepare the butter for chilling by either rolling it into logs and storing it in the fridge until the butter is set OR using silicone molds to freeze them in.

Video

Laura’s Tips + Notes

  • Anchovy butter is a savory treat when served with pasta or steak. This umami-packed butter is also delicious on roasted veggies.
  • Mushroom butter adds great flavor to steaks, pork chops, and roasted veggies.
  • Truffle butter is delicious with steaks, risotto, pasta, and potatoes.
  • Chipotle butter adds flavor to corn on the cob, cornbread or focaccia, and roasted potatoes.
  • Blue cheese butter for your next steak. It adds so much flavor and couldn’t be easy to make.
  • Buerre au citron is a butter sauce with aromatics, wine, butter, and citrus juice. But you can make this easy version of compound lemon butter to use on fish or scallops. You can also replace the citrus in this recipe with lime or orange.
  • Honey butter is delicious on freshly baked bread or homemade cornbread.
  • Fruit butter is a delicious condiment you can use to toast or bagels. It’s sort of a spin on classic honey butter.

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Nutrition

Calories: 104kcalCarbohydrates: 0.4gProtein: 0.2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 74mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.04gCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.05mg
Keyword butter, compound butter, compound butter for steak
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